Diet simply means ‘a healthy attitude’


The basic principle is to put weight loss on the back burner and listen more to the cues of hunger. It shows you the path to heal your relationship with food…writes Pallavi Moulick

The most ironic fact about intuitive eating, is it is not very intuitive for most. It takes intentional effort to get to that point.

Eighty per cent of women in the US alone are dissatisfied with their bodies. Moreover, longing for a thin and ideal body is international in nature.

The impact of diet culture is rippling. But here are some of the top ones to consider:

* Certain groups of food are heavily demonized

* Makes you feel unworthy of enjoying the good moments of life

* Pressure on every woman especially brides and new mothers to lose weight is immense

* Excessive emotional eating behaviours if your weight does not reduce in the timeline you need

Now the list is endless. The by-products of the impacts are feelings of lethargy, eating disorders, mood swings, guilt, shame and anxiety.

Chronic dieters know that they will always gain the weight back. Dieting has a negative connotation to it even while thinking about it. Now that the supposed villain is floating around everywhere in the world, it is time to find the main protagonist. Unfortunately, like a hero in a movie, science and the human body is not black and white. There are multiple perspectives that come into play when considering intuitive eating.

The basic principle is to put weight loss on the back burner and listen more to the cues of hunger. It shows you the path to heal your relationship with food. It encourages tapping into your inner wisdom of what your body needs. It also leads to acceptance of your ancestral form of eating. It values fullness over starvation. It nudges you to respect your body.

But the reality is, as of now, that most focus is on just losing weight. So how do we find a common ground between intuitive eating and weight loss? The best way to look at diet culture vs intuitive eating is to ask the right questions.

* How many kgs did I lose? Vs Am I feeling stronger every day?

* How can I avoid carbs in this meal? Vs Am I feeling satisfied with my meal?

* What will others think when they see my body? Vs Am I feeling healthy in my body?

* Am I eating a 1,200 calorie diet? Vs Am I eating according to what my body and mind need to function properly?

The thought of losing weight is weighing on pretty much every woman’s mind. There are deeper roots of the diet mentality than what seems on the surface. Somewhere it stems from the patriarchal viewpoint of seeing beauty in thin bodies. The body does its best to conform to massive changes in life and protect itself. But if the main source of fuel is heavily restricted, the body responds back in the same non-loving manner.

Good things take time. There is a reason this statement has proved to be true time and again. So let’s make small shifts in our eating mindset, daily movements for optimized health, and make nutrition and fitness a lifestyle instead of a short-term weight loss goal.

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